HOLLYWOOD, CA - The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce proudly announces that the late Luther Vandross will be honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star will be unveiled at 1717 Vine Street overlooking the recording industry’s iconic building Capitol Records. "Luther’s unparalleled voice and forever romantic tunes such as "Never Too Much," "Power Of Love", "Here And Now," "House Is Not A Home," "So Amazing" and "Dance With My Father" are known the world over," stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies. "We are honored to hold this dedication for a very special performer whose music will resonate for all time."
Leron Gubler and guest speakers to be announced will be on hand to unveil the star for Vandross in the category of Recording at 1717 Vine Street. Accepting the star on behalf of the family will be Luther’s niece Seveda Williams and longtime friend Alfonso "Fonzi" Thornton. The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.
Since the passing of Luther Vandross in 2005, one constant has remained to define his life and musical success: his unforgettable voice. Amongst the greatest singers of the past 100 years, Luther Vandross’ voice and distinct singing style led to not only monumental success, but to instant recognition when you hear him singing--through your stereo, car radio, on TV or in a movie.
Coupled with that voice, was Luther’s unique ability to write and sing about love and the shared emotions we all feel in that search for and the enjoyment of love. Love of family, friends, that special someone--all were themes Luther explored with his music regularly, reaching many. Through his songs, Luther Vandross became a staple in the most joyous moments of people’s lives.
Luther Vandross was born on April 20, 1951 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, United States. He was the fourth child and second son to Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross, Sr.
Honing his signature vocal style and writing skills, Luther went on to attend Western Michigan University before continuing to pursue a career in music. Already a formidable vocalist and skilled vocal arranger, Luther landed work as a backing singer at top recording sessions.
Luther quickly became one of the best kept secrets in popular music. Few people outside the industry knew his name, but millions heard his remarkable sensual voice on countless commercials. From time to time he made efforts to break out of that lucrative, but restrictive area, either through albums by his own group Luther, or performing on albums from Quincy Jones, Brecker Bros and Bionic Boogie. Many of these were promising recordings, but failed to generate enough momentum to propel Luther to the next level.
From 1972 through 1980, Luther chalked up credits on albums by such greats asDiana Ross, Roberta Flack, Gary Glitter, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren’sUtopia, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, and Barbra Streisand. After appearing on two hit records in 1980 by the pop-dance act Change, Epic Records signed Luther Vandross. In 1981, Luther’s debut solo album "Never Too Much" was released, and it was quickly apparent that his voice was going to be a lasting presence for generations to come.
For 25 years, from 1981 to 2005, Luther dominated the American R&B music charts like no other artist before or since. In that span, Luther released eight No. 1 R&B albums, seven No. 1 R&B singles and another five Top 20 R&B singles. He achieved crossover status with eight Billboard Top 10 albums, including reaching No. 1 with 2003’s "Dance With My Father," and another five Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles.
Luther Vandross died on July 1, 2005 in Edison, New Jersey at the age of 54, following complications from a stroke two years earlier. He had been in entertainment for 35 years. His funeral in New York City one week later featured musical tributes by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Cissy Houston, Usher, and Alicia Keys, along with special remembrances by Patti Labelle, Dionne Warwick and Fonzi Thornton.